Calvary is the Magna Carta that God gave the children of Adam and Eve to safeguard the peasantry of the Church from the tyranny of the aristocracy of the Church. When the aristocracy of the Church deviate from Calvary, the peasantry stand up, point to Calvary and cry foul.
God poured more and better theology into Calvary than He poured into the heads of every apologist, theologian, Doctor of the Church, monk, abbot, mystic, priest, monsignor, bishop, Cardinal, Pope, hermit and saint who has ever lived or will ever live.
Calvary is autodidactic. In other words, Calvary teaches itself.
Many false, inaccurate and conflicting pictures of the nature of God circulate through the minds of the children of Adam and Eve. The multiplicity of pictures creates confusion. “This is God” some say as they point to their favorite picture of God. Others point to a different picture and say, “No, this is God.” The controversy goes on ad infinitum.
The risk of confusion was the reason God admonished us in the Ten Commandments not to make any representations of them. God knew that any representation made by human hands would distort their nature. Human representations of the nature of God would only create grotesque caricatures of God. They would be inaccurate. They would fall short. They would miss the mark. They would be of low fidelity. They would misrepresent God. They would obscure rather than reveal.
Therefore, to eliminate the risk of confusion, the most Holy Trinity set the record straight once and forever at Calvary. At Calvary, they cleared the air. Calvary was apocalyptic. At Calvary, the Son of God revealed the nature of God. A veil separated the Holy of Holies from the children of Adam and Eve. At Calvary, “[t]he veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom”. God stepped out from behind the veil to reveal the glorious splendor of divinity itself. “Behold the nature of God” were the words the angels sang at Calvary as God was showing us His nature.
At Calvary, God themselves gave us the definitive representation of their nature.
Calvary was a self-portrait. Because it was a self-portrait done by the very hand of God, all other portraits of God must yield to it. All other portraits are inferior to it.
At Calvary, the perfection of the union between humanity and divinity was revealed.
On the canvas of Calvary in the pigments of pain and suffering, the brush of truth Himself - not some flunky running errands for God - painted a self-portrait of the nature of God.
The Son of God paid us a visit. It was a short visit. It lasted for approximately thirty-three years. The visit took place at and about the city of Jerusalem in a region of the earth called the Middle East more than two thousand years ago. Yet, despite its brevity, His thirty-three year visit changed the world. Imagine. His thirty-three year visit bent the trajectory of human history and sent it off in a different direction.
At Bethlehem, God delivered to us a love note. It was no ordinary love note. It was alive. It lived and breathed.
At Calvary, God delivered to us a guarantee that the love note was genuine. If the love note were counterfeit, God’s love for us would have faded as we tortured him and died when we killed him. But it did not. It survived.
Calvary has not one but two sides.
Defeat takes place on the outside of Calvary. We tortured and killed Him and He suffered and died. We opened bloody wounds in his body with lash, thorns, nails and spear. Through the wounds we opened in his body, buckets of blood spilled. On this cataract of blood, his life exited his body. The failure was abject. The defeat on the outside of Calvary was utter, complete and absolute.
Most only see the outside of Calvary. They look at the bloody wounds and stop there. By stopping there, their understanding of Calvary is imperfect. Their understanding of Calvary is stunted. It is crippled. By stopping at the bloody wounds, they misinterpret the revelation. They miss its point.
The bloody wounds are windows. The windows allow us to look through them to the inside of Calvary - to the very heart of Calvary itself.
What do we see when we look through the bloody wounds we opened in the body of the Christ?
When we look through the bloody wounds, we see the most sacred heart of Jesus before we baptized Him in the boiling cauldron of pain and suffering as we baptized Him and after we baptized Him. We see that before, during, and after the evil baptism into which we immersed him, his most sacred heart stayed filled to the brim with love for us. Buckets of blood spilled through the bloody wounds we opened but not a drop - not a drop - of His love for us.
At Calvary, we committed the sin of sins against the Son of God. What worse evil could we do to the Son of God than torture and kill him? Yet, the Son of God asked his father to forgive us for it. Even though we tortured and killed Him while He was human, alive, tender and vulnerable, we didn't piss him off. He continued to love us nonetheless.
At Calvary, the Son of God offered his body to us. And we took it. At Calvary, the Son of God offered his blood to us. And we took it. He surrendered his very life itself to us. Only one thing and one thing alone did He refuse to surrender to us. It was His most prized possession. He would not let us take it from Him. That He kept it is the glorious victory of Calvary. That He kept it is the sublime triumph of the Cross. He clung to his love for us, held tight and did not let go. He refused to let go of His love for us. He clung to his love for us with the iron grip that a drowning man clings to a life preserver whose ship has sunk in a raging storm. As we tried to take away His love for us at Calvary, the Son of God said no. He refused. We gave him every reason to stop loving us, but God, for reasons of his own, continued to love us nonetheless. His refusal at Calvary to let us extinguish his love for us or reduce it by even the slightest degree is the guarantee of the indestructibility of God’s love for us.
The survival of His love for us is the guarantee that the love note of Bethlehem is genuine.
The revelation of Calvary was not free. There was a cost. And the Son of God paid it. He paid it himself out of his own pocket. For the guarantee to work, the Son of God needed to hold onto his love for us and not let go while we baptized him in the boiling cauldron of pain and suffering. No passion, no proof. So He paid the cost not from his limitless divine resources. He paid the cost from his limited human resources. He paid them all for us. He kept not a penny for Himself. He has never paid more for anything else!
To God, we are the apple of his eye. To God, we are the pearl of great price. To God, we are the treasure buried in the field. To God, we are worth it. We may not think we are worth it. However, our opinion does not count. Only God’s opinion of our worth counts.
The real miracle of the Resurrection is not that He defeated death. Indeed, the defeat of death was an awesome display of His omnipotence. However, the real miracle of the Resurrection is the survival of His love for us. He continues to love us nonetheless even though we tortured and killed Him.
Love is the essence of divinity. The essence of God is love. How do we know? Calvary is the proof. If Calvary does not convince us that the essence of God is love, nothing can or will.
That God did Calvary for us leads us to the ineluctable conclusion that there is nothing that God won't do for us. How do I sign up? Where do I enlist? How do I join the kingdom of this God who loves me so much?
The guarantee of the indestructibility of His love for us that God gave us at Calvary is the sweetness of paradise. It is the honey that draws the bees back to the hive. It is the good news of great joy. It tells you all you need to know about the nature of God.
Calvary gives us the definitive picture of the nature of God. Whenever someone paints for you a picture of God, compare it to the self-portrait that God themselves gave us at Calvary.
The Son of God let us grind Him though the millstones of Calvary so we would have a pillow on which we can rest our heads. On the pillow of Calvary erect your understanding of the nature of God. An understanding of the nature of God built on Calvary is infallible. Rest your head on the pillow of Calvary to sleep the sleep of the angels.
Keep your hopes up. Keep your expectations high! Have patience and trust in God.